Keeping the Weight Off with Enhanced Primary Care

April 9, 2024

First Stop Health

GLP-1s, such as Ozempic and Wegovy, are one of the hottest weight-loss topics in healthcare. But are they the answer to the prevention and treatment of obesity? Affordability, insurance coverage and likelihood of regaining weight are just a few of the downfalls when it comes to these medications.  

For example, studies have found a substantial regain of initial lost weight when patients stopped taking GLP-1s.1 Additionally, those who take GLP-1s long-term for weight loss can expect to pay $750-$1,400 per month.  

There are alternatives, however, to GLP-1s and other programs that have been proven to help patients lose weight. They begin with treating weight as a health state that is rooted in both physical and mental well-being. Enhanced Primary Care, which is centered on primary care with a broader wrap-around network of providers for coaching, navigation or mental health needs, is one solution that can support weight loss for members. Here’s how:  

Multidisciplinary Support 

Continuous guidance and hands-on support from a group of healthcare professionals are likely to prevent weight regain. This includes interventions from dieticians, mental health counselors and/or therapists, certified health coaches and nurse advocates.2 This multidisciplinary approach provides more frequent touch points for greater accountability, and a more holistic patient experience. 

Power of Virtual  

Coaching delivered in a virtual setting proved successful for the prevention and treatment of obesity and other chronic conditions. Two studies on virtual coaching from dieticians, nurses and health coaches found participants in coaching conditions lost more than 9% of initial body weight at the 6-month mark and regained less weight over a 2-year period compared to those who did not receive the same guidance.3 Arming patients with appropriate nutrition and exercise regimens, mechanisms learned from cognitive behavioral therapy and achievable lifestyle changes has been proven to aid in weight loss. 

Primary Care Physicians at the Heart of Engagement 

Another study found that primary care physicians (PCP) can motivate their patients by reviewing progress reports and educating them on additional nutrition, exercise and lifestyle changes.4 Lab work ordered by PCPs can also help determine if specialist or medication therapy is needed as weight is often associated with other underlying conditions. The same study reported improvements for patients who had other chronic conditions. This included control and reduced risk of diabetes and hypertension, and lower levels of risk factors for cardiovascular disease. 


About First Stop Health Virtual Care 

FSH Enhanced Primary Care, Virtual Urgent Care and Whole Person Mental Health solutions deliver patient-first, $0 care to members where and when they need it. As FSH runs independently from carriers, virtual visits do not incur claims, all members are pre-registered for easy access to their accounts and implementation is turnkey. FSH puts its fees at risk and offers performance guarantees on utilization or return on investment to ensure solution efficacy.  

Enhanced Primary Care: A Virtual Home Designed for Everyone. We aim to be a virtual medical home for patients and to meaningfully change the way they think about a primary care relationship. Scheduling is available as soon as next day with a virtual doctor for weight-loss support. Members have access to urgent care plus a wrap network of health coaches, dieticians and onsite biometrics starting 8/1/2024. Case management, advocacy and steerage from registered nurses that goes beyond care coordination will also be available 8/1/2024.  Coming 1/1/2025 is Whole Person Mental Health, which includes scheduled visits with therapists for long-term therapy and behavioral coaches for guidance on finance, tobacco cessation and personal goals.     

  1. Continued Treatment With Tirzepatide for Maintenance of Weight Reduction in Adults With Obesity: The SURMOUNT-4 Randomized Clinical Trial | Cardiology | JAMA | JAMA Network 
  2. Lifestyle Strategies after Intentional Weight Loss: Results... : Translational Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine ( 
  3. Health and Wellness Coaching Improves Weight and Nutrition Behaviors - PMC ( 
  4. Comparative Effectiveness of Weight-Loss Interventions in Clinical Practice | New England Journal of Medicine ( 

Originally published Apr 9, 2024 8:04:55 PM.